Mark Holmen is a husband, father, speaker, author and consultant. He currently serves as executive director of Faith at Home Ministries based in Crosslake, Minn., which seeks to equip congregations to make the home the primary place where faith is nurtured and lived out. Previously, Holmen served as senior pastor of Ventura Missionary Church in Ventura, Calif.
Holmen and Doug Bischoff, who serves on the pastoral staff at First Baptist Church of Houston, Texas, will be sharing on “How to Make Family Ministry a Reality in Your Church” at the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s Faith at Home Fall Conference Series Oct. 13-14 at Caraway Conference Center in Sophia, N.C.
Holmen took some time to answer a few questions regarding his ministry and the upcoming conference.
Q: In light of the current cultural trends, what are the biggest obstacles for families today?
A: Busyness. The impact social media is having on us. The trend to quit and move on to someone else rather than remain.
Q: What challenges do pastors face in helping families see the need to be disciple-makers of their homes?
A: Parents want their kids to know, love and follow Jesus and yet they truly believe the best way to accomplish this is by outsourcing it to churches with good programs and leadership for their children and teens. Many parents today were not raised with parents who were their primary spiritual influence nor did they experience faith being discussed and nurtured at home, so this becomes a significant challenge because allowing the church to take the lead seems like the best and most natural option for parents.
Q: How should a church consider structuring its staff and events around encouraging and equipping families to be the primary disciple-makers of their homes?
A: It’s all in! Every staff member and ministry is responsible for having some sort of faith at home focus so that the people who engage in our church are consistently and repeatedly being inspired, motivated and equipped.
Q: What encouragement would you give to a pastor who is not sure where to begin with family ministry in their church?
A: I wouldn’t call it family ministry but instead make faith at home a component of the church’s discipleship strategy. I would also utilize the Faith Life survey (faithlife.me) to provide the evidence that would support the need for a faith at home strategy.
When pastors and church leadership really see what is and is not happening in the homes of their church attendees, this becomes game-changing data and information.
Q: Why should pastors and staff members come to the Faith at Home Conference?
A: American Christianity is declining, and even for those who attend church it is becoming a one-hour, consumeristic expression whereby we “act” like a Christian for an hour and then live our lives a completely different way the rest of the week. All pastors want their people to be 24/7 faith-at-home-focused followers of Christ and not just one-hour consumers of church.
Yet, when you ask them, “What is your strategy to make the home the primary place where faith is lived and nurtured?” they usually don’t have much to say. This Faith at Home Conference will change that. It will give every pastor and leader that comes what they need to develop a customized and sustainable faith at home initiative that will be woven into their discipleship process.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – For more information or to register for the Faith at Home Network Fall Conference Series, visit ncbaptist.org/faithathome.)